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BroadSoft Edges Closer to IPO

Ray Le Maistre
3/30/2006

Hosted VOIP system vendor BroadSoft Inc. says it has been profitable for the past three quarters and is hiring the financial personnel needed for an IPO, a move it signaled about a year ago. (See BroadSoft Joins VOIP IPO Rush.)

The firm's VP of marketing, Scott Wharton, says the company is expanding to meet the criteria expected of a public company. Its revenues are growing, as are its international sales and presence, and it is hiring the backroom people needed for a public offering, including a legal counsel. (See Broadsoft Ramps Up in Europe and Broadsoft Touts 2005 Growth.)

That general counsel is Gary Ford, who "brings to BroadSoft over 25 years of experience representing companies in public offerings, public company reporting and compliance," according to BroadSoft PR. (See BroadSoft Names Prez.)

Its international expansion comes in the form of an operations center in central Europe and the appointment of a general manager for Europe, Howard Lewis. He previously founded handset firm Sendo Ltd. , which is famous for a legal tussle with Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT). (See Sendo Sues Microsoft.)

BroadSoft's growth has a lot to do with its partners and their international reach. Wharton says about half of BroadSoft's sales are outside the U.S., with the majority of its international business coming through the likes of Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC), Italtel SpA , and Lucent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: LU). (See Ericsson Integrates BroadSoft and Lucent Teams With BroadSoft.)

While Lucent has been taking BroadSoft into accounts such as Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S), Ericsson has been dominating the European IMS market, and taking the hosted VOIP vendor with it. (See Sprint, Lucent Intro IP Voice.)

Ericsson's engagements at Spanish incumbent Telefónica SA (NYSE: TEF) and Danish national carrier TDC A/S (Copenhagen: TDC) have been well publicized, but the IMS (IP Multimedia Subsystem) engagement at Orange (NYSE: FTE) is believed to be the biggest IMS deal, though none of the parties are yet commenting on it. (See FT Picks Ericsson for IMS, Ericsson, Broadsoft Snack on Danish, and Ericsson Provides IMS to Telefónica .)

Now BroadSoft is expanding its product line, too, breaking out the media server functionality from its hosted platform in order to launch a standalone media server that the firm claims is ready to deploy in an IMS. (See Broadsoft Unveils IMS Product.)

Wharton says his company will be taking on the likes of Convedia Corp. , the newly named Cantata Technology Inc. (formerly Brooktrout), IP Unity Corp. , and AudioCodes Ltd. (Nasdaq: AUDC), many of which have already announced and launched their own IMS-ready media servers. (See Cantata Unveils Media Server, AudioCodes Boosts VOIP Kit, BEA Joins IP Unity, Convedia Touts IMS Forum, Convedia, Pactolus Team on IMS, and Convedia Supports H.248.)

— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading

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